Going Beyond Diversity to Create Inclusion

Diversity is more than checking a box on race or ethnicity — It’s utilizing a person’s unique experience and contribution.

By now, most companies have realized the importance of Diversity and Inclusion and are sure to focus efforts on incorporating D&I practices. From internal communications to the growth and stability of future business, D&I just makes business sense.

Nzinga-ShawAt a recent PRSA Charlotte luncheon, Nzinga Shaw, the first Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer for the National Basketball Association, led the conversation about reaching outside of race, and involving every aspect of people that make them unique.

Nzinga posed questions such as:

  • How do we engage different religions?
  • What are we doing to embrace those with disabilities?


One of the most powerful questions Nzinga asked was for those who felt they were given a job, promotion, or brought onto a team simply so a company could “check off” the diversity box, to stand up around their peers and colleagues.

“Diversity is being invited to the party. Inclusion is being asked to dance.” – Vernã Myers


IMAGE SOURCE: Understood.org

A prime example of inclusion are sensory-sensitive rooms, such as those found at many NBA arenas, which accommodate fans with autism, dementia, post-traumatic stress disorder, and similar conditions. Not everyone enjoys erupting cheers of the crowd and the smell of popcorn and nachos. Instead of disregarding these segments as not in your target audience or a priority, explore opportunities to involve them and expand your customer base.

Building connections with organizations in your community, local leaders, and historically diverse colleges and universities, is a great start to going beyond diversity and delving deep into inclusiveness.

When you think of D&I, remember it goes far beyond where a person is from and their cultural heritage (those things are important, too!), but to the individual needs of a person.

At AC&M Group D&I are at the core of all our practices and one of the strongest aspects we bring to our clients.

Want to receive insights, news, and industry updates? Subscribe to our newsletter today.

Signup now and receive an email once I publish new content.

I agree to have my personal information transfered to MailChimp ( more information )

I will never give away, trade or sell your email address. You can unsubscribe at any time.

April Comstock